|Plant-Wide Hazards - Other OSHA Requirements and Programs
are the hazards of electricity in the workplace?
Electricity can result in:
does electric shock occur?
(electrical or thermal contact),
- Explosions, and
- Indirectly, injury from a fall, from cuts, or from broken bones.
shock occurs when the body becomes a part of an electric circuit.
The electrical current must enter the body at one point and leave
are the causes of electrical accidents?
Electric shock normally occurs in 1 of 3 ways. Individuals - while in contact with the ground - must come in contact with:
wires of the electric circuit, or
wire of an energized circuit and the ground, or
- A metallic part that has become "hot" by contact with an energized conductor
Summary: Fatal Electrocution in Poultry Processing Plant
Electrical accidents appear to be caused by a combination of 3 possible factors:
OSHA's electrical standards help reduce the potential for death or serious injury by specifying safety aspects in the design and use of electrical equipment and systems. The standards cover only those parts of any electrical system that an employee would normally use or contact.
poultry processing facilities, the existence of wet environments
greatly increases the risk of electrical accidents because water
reduces the resistance of human skin to the passage of electricity.
equipment and/or installation,
made unsafe by the environment, and
can workers be protected from the hazards of electricity?
The basic means of protection include:
- Insulation - covering live parts with high-resistance material such as rubber or plastic. (Always check the insulation on power cords before connecting to a power source to be sure there are no exposed wires. Flexible cords, such as extension cords, are particularly likely to be damaged.) (Overheads)
exposed live parts from access by unqualified persons. View
both system and equipment. (Never use equipment
from which the grounding prong has been removed, or use an adapter
to connect a 3-pronged tool to a 2-pronged outlet.) View
- Electrical protective devices – fuses, circuit breakers, and GFCIs. [The GFCI
is intended to protect employees by interrupting the current
quickly enough to prevent electrocution. If a GFCI detects a
current difference (going to versus coming from electrical equipment)
greater than 6 amperes, it will shut off electric power within
1/40 of a second.] View slide
Employees working with electrical equipment need to use safe work practices, including:
training is required about electrical hazards?
and locking out and appropriately tagging electric equipment
before inspecting or making repairs View
electric tools that are in good repair; tools that are in questionable
repair should be removed from service and tagged;
good judgment when working near energized lines; unqualified
employees and mechanical equipment must stay at least 10 feet
away from overhead power lines; and
appropriate protective equipment, such as rubber insulating
gloves, hoods, sleeves, matting, blankets, line hose, and industrial
Employees must be:
Specific OSHA Requirements
Maintenance employees who perform electrical repairs should be qualified electricians.
of the electrical hazards to which they are exposed;
in safety-related work practices, including lockout/tagout;
in any other procedures necessary for safety from electrical
OSHA Requirements for the prevention of electrical hazards are contained
CFR 1910 Subpart S, Electrical.
1910.302 through 1910.308 cover Design Safety Standards for Electric
Utilization Systems. 1910.331 through
1910.335 cover Electrical
Safety-Related Work Practices.
Employers in states with state-run safety and health plans should
check with their state
agency. Their state may enforce standards that, while "as effective
as federal standards," may not be identical to the federal requirements.
explanation of the OSHA requirements for electrical
hazards can be found in OSHA's Small
Business Handbook (OSHA Publication 2209-02R). Also available
as a 260 KB PDF,
29 CFR 1910.137, Electrical
and 29 CFR 1910.147, The control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout) are also applicable
to the control of electrical hazards.
Electrical Hazards. OSHA Publication 3075, (2002). Also available as a 350 KB PDF,
71 pages. Gives an overview
of the OSHA standards.
Contact the OSHA Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at 202-693-2300
for assistance accessing PDF materials.